Nowadays more and more people are opting for a lifestyle without animal products: a vegan menu or simply 'vegan'. Supermarkets and online webshops are responding to this: you see an increasing range of vegan food. The same goes for vegan food supplements. How do these differ from 'normal' food supplements? And what should you pay attention to when choosing a vegan dietary supplement? We tell you all about it in this blog.
Vegetarian or vegan: what's the difference?
First of all, a clear explanation of vegetarian, vegan and the difference between them. Vegetarian means you don't consume nutrients from dead animals. In the case of food supplements you should think of, for example, beef gelatin, collagen, glucosamine (shellfish) and chondroitin (fish), green-lipped mussel, fish oil. Vegan (also called 'vegetable') means that you do not use any nutrients of animal origin in addition to the above. So not even if (live) animals have been used in the production (for example wool (fat), lactose, honey, egg).
Animal ingredients in supplements
Many supplements are made from plant-based or artificial ingredients. However, some supplements also use animal ingredients. Two well-known examples are vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. There are also capsules that contain lactose. And then there's the casing: all capsules used to be made of gelatin, which came from the bones of cattle and pigs. Certain additives can also come from animals. Think, for example, of shellac (E904), a glazing agent from lice. Fortunately, there are now plenty of plant-based alternatives. For example, there are now vegan capsules made from HPMC: modified cellulose, made from the wood pulp of pine trees.
Supplements for vegetarians and vegans
If you regularly eat vegetarian or vegan, you should make sure that you get enough essential nutrients. For example, you have a chance of an increased need for vitamin B12 because this vitamin is almost only found in animal products. Fortunately, you can also get many essential nutrients from plant sources. In case of doubt or increased need due to a vegetarian or vegan diet, supplements can be a good addition. We highlight three important supplements.
Vegan Vitamin D
Vitamin D is indispensable for our health. The sun is the greatest source of vitamin D, supplements can supplement if desired. The most commonly used form in D3 supplements is cholecalciferol. This raw material is usually extracted from wool fat, which comes from sheep's wool. This is not a problem for many vegetarians, but if you do not want to consume animal raw materials, fortunately there is also a vegan form. The vitamin D in those supplements is often extracted from mushrooms or moss.
Omega-3 supplements; also for vegans!
Fish oil, made from fatty fish, is the best-known source of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Fish get these fatty acids by eating algae. Algae are thus the original source of omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, algae oil is 100% vegetable. That makes it an ideal alternative source of omega-3 fatty acids for vegetarians and vegans, because the capsule is also of vegetable origin. Golden Naturals Omega-3 Algae Oil contains a rich dose of DHA and EPA. Curious? Read more about it here.
vegan? Watch out for vitamin B12!
Easily absorbable vitamin B12 is only found in animal products. Think of milk, cheese, eggs, meat and fish. All kinds of food products that the average Dutch person regularly consumes. Vegans and, to a lesser extent, vegetarians, naturally do not get these nutrients or much less. If there is an increased need, a dietary supplement with vitamin B12 in high doses offers a solution. Preferably choose B12 in bioactive form: methylcobalamin and/or adenosylcobalamin. The advantage of this is that the body can directly absorb these forms of B12. Golden Naturals has two vitamin B12 products with methylcobalamin and/or adenosylcobalamin.
Golden Naturals for Vegetarians and Vegans
Golden Naturals has a wide range of nutritional supplements containing many vegetarian and vegan products. In our webshop these can be recognized by the dark green (vegan) and light green (vegan) labels. This is also clearly stated on the label.
Golden Naturals recently received the 'Vegan Friendly' label. This is a characteristic for companies that offer vegan products and/or services. The Vegan Friendly label is intended to easily connect entrepreneurs with a (partly) vegan range and consumers who want to use vegan products and/or services. We are of course happy to work with you!
We hope that the above information has made you a little wiser. To be sure, always check the label of a product and the ingredients of a supplement. This way you can check yourself whether there are really no animal ingredients in it. Prefer personal advice? We are happy to help you! Please contact and our product specialists will be happy to help.